Types of catastrophic injuries that are common with motorcycle accidents
While many find it a thrilling activity, riding a motorcycle involves taking serious risks. Motorcycle riders are vulnerable to the same types of accidents as car drivers are, yet riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. Motorcycles are less stable and harder for other drivers to see, and riders do not have the body of an automobile to protect them. Even with the proper use of a helmet, motorcycle accidents can cause serious damage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents are about 28 times more likely to be fatal than accidents involving passenger vehicles. In recent years, there have been over 5,000 deaths from motorcycle accidents per year.
However, it’s not all bad news.
The good news is that many motorcyclists survive such accidents. The downside is that such individuals often experience both short- and long-term consequences of motorcycle accident injuries. Many injuries are common and vary on a wide scale in terms of their severity. Some motorcyclists may walk away with bruises, while others who are less fortunate may end up paralyzed for life.
On the less severe end of the scale, a motorcyclist can experience whiplash, road rash and foot injuries. More seriously, riders can experience internal injuries, affecting everything from bones to organ tissue. Brain damage, skull fractures and other head injuries aren’t uncommon, especially for riders who weren’t wearing a helmet. Injury to the spinal cord, neck and back occur with frequency, as do all types of broken bones.
Here are some of the most common catastrophic motorcycle crash injuries.
Head injuries and TBI
One of the most serious injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are caused by a blow to the head. They can range in severity from a concussion to extensive permanent brain damage. Concussions, once diagnosed, can frequently be treated at home through a combination of rest and pain medication.
More serious injuries might require life-saving surgical intervention. While concussions often don’t require a prolonged hospital stay, they do often result in substantial time missed from work and overall reduced quality of life. Severe headaches are a common side effect, and the concussions themselves can make certain types of work, such as tasks involving extensive time in front of a computer, impossible.
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Spinal cord injuries can also have devastating effects, ranging from pain to paraplegia or quadriplegia. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by trauma to the spine. The severity and type of damage depend on where the spine is injured. Damage to the neck area is often associated with paralysis to the legs and arms. Damage to the lower part of the spine often impacts the legs and abdomen.
Some injuries will recover ongoing medical care for the rest of the injured person’s life. Others may heal completely. Spinal injuries can have a variety of other consequences as well, such as respiratory problems, circulatory problems, urinary and sexual dysfunction and muscular weakness or spasms.
While it may not sound serious, road rash involves much more than a skinned knee. Road rash is the general term used for a skin abrasion in which part of the skin is rubbed off. Most often the result of being dragged or skidding across a paved surface, road rash also commonly occurs with accidents involving cycling or skateboarding. Road rash due to a motorcycle accident can be particularly severe, however, due to higher velocity—you typically fall harder and are going faster.
Road rash frequently leads to a larger injury that impacts deeper layers of skin. It’s usually very red and painful around the affected area and can cause substantial bleeding. Minor cases of road rash can usually be treated at home. In more severe cases or for rashes that become infected, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Why contact a Macon motorcycle injury lawyer
Motorcycle accident trauma can leave survivors with a severely reduced quality of life. Whether the injury is mild or severe, hospital and other medical bills can accrue quickly.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, a Macon motorcycle accident lawyer can help you. Working with a lawyer, you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost income and even pain and suffering. Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for other damages.